According to a recent VentureBeat article, the U.S. Department of Defense spends $100 billion annually to fund the research of more than 50,000 scientists across 100 facilities – and soon, fruits of that labor will find its way into consumer markets.
The DOD has partnered with alternative investment company Allied Minds. The Boston-based organization will license technologies developed for and used in military applications and create startup companies with the goal of integrating these innovations into consumer products. That includes projects related to cyber security, data analytics and other networking hardware.
But, the applications stretch far beyond that. Advanced materials, energy and power storage are also major focuses of the partnership and the subsequent startup companies that will emerge in the coming years. In fact, an estimated 20 businesses will be formed in the first year, with a goal to start 100 new ones each year after that – all based off technology licensed from the DOD.
As the VentureBeat article points out, these innovations have already been used in military applications. This eliminates a common problem facing new organizations: wondering whether or not a technology actually works. Now the challenge lies in developing ways to combine them with affordable products that will serve consumer and business needs.
A unique partnership like this presents a wealth of opportunities for energy, consumer electronics and other industries. Combined with the right thermal management technologies and methods of joining dissimilar metals, the results could be truly revolutionary.
"Federal research labs have long been a rich source of invention and innovation and we believe that their intellectual output represents an underutilized national asset," Allied Minds CEO Chris Silva said in a release. "Through our unique collaboration, [we] will facilitate the successful transfer of new technologies to the commercial marketplace, keeping the U.S. at the forefront of technological innovation and creating new opportunities to build businesses and jobs."
DOD research led to the internet, GPS and countless other groundbreaking innovations. Now, with this partnership, who knows what will be next.